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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another probably pointless thread while sorting out the gear shed, to appreciate functional, reliable and well made equipment.

The Berghaus Vulcan ruck is, if not the father of the British Army's PLCE Bergen, at least its cool uncle. I used to have a second hand one a long time ago, extremely beat up, so when I was in the market for a new big bag I got a brand new one. Delightfully oldfashioned and devoid of PALS, this thing eats gear like a black hole. One big compartment with optional internal divider and a smaller one below that; huge pouch in the lid; two gigantic detachable pouches and more straps and buckles than one needs in a lifetime. Even a carry system for a funny day pack formed by the pouches. But no hydration pouch.

I admit I have never filled this ruck to the brim. It can take more gear than I can carry. So I never use the side pouches.

Glove Bag Textile Sleeve Luggage and bags


Next to the Vulcan, a 30 litre daypack called the Centurion. A single compartment bag with hydration pouch and modest amount of PALS, lid pocket and a plethora of attachment points and straps, this is my primary day and overnight pack. With a minimal load (just the essentials, no comfort) it is plenty big for up to 5-7 days. However, there's no point in suffering for the sake of suffering. With the Vulcan's compatible side pouches attached, the day pack can handle my entire sleep system - mat, sleeping bag, pillow - and my one (actually two) man tent, leaving the whole main compartment for stove, fuel and food (and the water bladder). The pouches zip on and off in seconds. When the food is gone, the pouches with contents fit inside the bag so it doesn't flop around empty.

Wood Wall Bag Gunny sack Gas


Granted, the small bag with enormous side pouches isn't very slick. An assault bag it is not. But I'm a big dude and the pouches don't come in the way of my arms even when skiing. With the tent and sleeping system at under four pounds each, I don't feel the extra width. The double zippers make the pouches sit very tightly.

To think that in the army we carried everything in a tiny ww2 vintage backpack (the "onion sack") and model -62 canvas webbing belt kit, with other antiquated pieces of kit dangling here and there. When the Brits had all this nylon goodness in use.
 

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The Berghaus Vulcan ruck is, if not the father of the British Army's PLCE Bergen, at least its cool uncle.
I have one Good Old British Bergen PLCE back breaker (120liter).
Yeah, lots of room.
Heck, you can fit 3 people in there.

So I never use the side pouches.
Haven't used this rucksack for years,
but I always had side pouches with me. Why?
I don't know, maybe I thought I can find gold or something.

Military gear for a civilian is always a double-edged sword.
And I'm not going to go there, because this should be clear as a day for everybody. If you didn't earn it - don't wear it.
But rucking deep in the woods with an old surplus backpack? I don't see problem there.

Combat equipment has to be of course rigid and very solid to resist what ever environments and mother nature throws at you.
They are also sometimes easy to carry and incredibly durable, thoug that can be hit and miss.
I don't know if it just me, but anything above 50 pounds and that starts really pull on your neck & shoulders with thin straps like in this PLCE.
But again I'm not a soldier and I don't have military utility belt on me, where the ruck can rest on the rear belt pouches.
Good thing about it, is that this is built to last.
Is this ruck good for general hiking?
IMO. Not so great.
For bushcraft type stuff or just chumming around out in woods for weeks, where the firmness and grit can be a virtue, it makes more sense.
These days I don’t carry more than,
a 42-52 liter pack.
Trust me, I have tried them all and this is the best backpack size for me.
I still remember my very first External frame pack.
I f'n hated that cot. Still gives the shivers, when I'm pondering about it.
Of course everything is a trade off.
Some like a large zipped opening and nothing else.
They might think that civilian backpacks have wayyy too many pockets and small pouches for markers and smart devices and for that reason, the main storage is too small.
Others like backpacks with multiple compartments, because of organizing options and can also help distribute the weight evenly.
I'm caught in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I concur, hikers can do better with lighter civilian packs. My long distance hiking days are over, so for the end of days scenario, I go for toughness. The Vulcan is a civilian pack and the carry system is legit. In the shop I loaded it with store supplied sandbags, all they had, and had no trouble hauling it, comfort-wise - for a limited time. Like I said, I've never loaded it full. A moderate 20-30 kilo load can be packed loosely to fill the pack so stuff doesn't move around. Organisation is done with themed stuff sacks. I've noticed that I have very little use for small pockets. Vital items and weapons are on person, everything else inside the pack. Finally we are rid of huge ass foam mat rolls and five-kilo, non-compressing sleeping bags of yore, everything fits inside. So old school just works for me.
 

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I concur, hikers can do better with lighter civilian packs. My long distance hiking days are over, so for the end of days scenario, I go for toughness. The Vulcan is a civilian pack and the carry system is legit. In the shop I loaded it with store supplied sandbags, all they had, and had no trouble hauling it, comfort-wise - for a limited time. Like I said, I've never loaded it full. A moderate 20-30 kilo load can be packed loosely to fill the pack so stuff doesn't move around. Organisation is done with themed stuff sacks. I've noticed that I have very little use for small pockets. Vital items and weapons are on person, everything else inside the pack. Finally we are rid of huge ass foam mat rolls and five-kilo, non-compressing sleeping bags of yore, everything fits inside. So old school just works for me.
I don't like bloated bags either.
I love the packs with empty space, because I want to be able to use that, if necessary.
Even my 52 liter backpack isn't fully loaded when I'm hunting.
If you can resist the temptation to just add more stuff, big backpack has it's place.
For example, If you hike with your girlfriend, child or whatever, you can carry more weight than they can, most of the time.
I'm not in peak physical shape either, but I'm still strong enough to carry my wifes gear and even her for short distances, if needed.

Sadly, there's no substitute for distance. Things happen with your feet and brain at the 1 whole day ruck march due to fatigue and physiology, can't be compared at shorter distances (1hour) no matter how heavy you go.

When I was younger I used to love those secret sections, patches, zippers and buckles.
You know, headlamp into this pocket, then marker and comp into separate area, and then longjohns and earmuffs into its own compartments.
The thing is, I don't have such a spectacular memory skills to remember where is what anymore.
Yes, organizer pockets. I try to keep it simple, though.
1 for tech, 1 for first-aid and 1 for other stuff, depending on the season.
With organizer pouches, it's also easy to move gear from one bag to another, if you have several of those, like I do.
 

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Military gear for a civilian is always a double-edged sword.
And I'm not going to go there, because this should be clear as a day for everybody. If you didn't earn it - don't wear it.
But rucking deep in the woods with an old surplus backpack? I don't see problem there.
I didn't realize the military has the market for backpacks covered, and someone isn't allowed to wear certain gear without being in the military (exception of course would be medals and things like identification which points to you being a member of the military. Guess civilians also shouldn't get things like 1911, M-16 or any "war weapon" then, cause they didn't earn it, and it's used in the military? A civilian shouldn't wear camo? Things like that? USA, home of the free, if you're allowed by others to do what you want anyway, it seems. ;)

Now yeah, there's a lot better gear out there, and most military "surplus" gear isn't worth the cost anymore, since hipsters buy all the stuff up and the market's ruined.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I didn't realize the military has the market for backpacks covered, and someone isn't allowed to wear certain gear without being in the military (exception of course would be medals and things like identification which points to you being a member of the military. Guess civilians also shouldn't get things like 1911, M-16 or any "war weapon" then, cause they didn't earn it, and it's used in the military? A civilian shouldn't wear camo? Things like that? USA, home of the free, if you're allowed by others to do what you want anyway, it seems. ;)

Now yeah, there's a lot better gear out there, and most military "surplus" gear isn't worth the cost anymore, since hipsters buy all the stuff up and the market's ruined.
I was extatic when modern (post Desert Storm) surplus became available here. All the cool nylon, velcro, camo patterns, pouches, packs - it was a quantum leap in durability, functionality and cool badassery. And all other new tech materials like fleece and goretex. Out with the old style, in with looking like SAS.

And then teen girls and bearded hipsters destroyed everything for everyone. Now I make a point of NOT wearing surplus when out in town :confused::ROFLMAO:

In Finland, every Man and some women serve in the military. There is no novelty value or hardman points to be had in milspec gear. Only SF symbols like jump wings, maroon berets etc are considered stolen valour. There is no law against posers wearing SF symbols. Anyone doing it is just a giant douche. And grown ass men posing in the current pattern camo and gear are laughed at - unless on their way to reserve excercises or to do woods stuff. I think that's what Matti was getting at.

One last thing: every man here should have at least our current camo uniform and milspec ruck in their closet. Because the government sure as heck doesn't have enough of the good stuff to go around for us old timers. It would be no fun going to meet the enemy in the same gear I had in the 80s and 90s...
 

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And grown ass men posing in the current pattern camo and gear are laughed at - unless on their way to reserve excercises or to do woods stuff. I think that's what Matti was getting at.
^
You hit it right on the nail!


Guess civilians also shouldn't get things like 1911, M-16 or any "war weapon" then, cause they didn't earn it, and it's used in the military? A civilian shouldn't wear camo? Things like that? USA, home of the free, if you're allowed by others to do what you want anyway, it seems. ;)
Maybe this is cultural thing?
I didn't mean that if you happen to own Bundeshwer mesh kit, you can't eat from it, because you didn't earn it.
My point is->
Camo pattern or military gear should be used in actual wilderness adventure.
In the city, you look little ninny. IMO
Well, unless you want to stand out for some reason.

And if it's so cool to wear them, wear them, as long as the rest of the outfit isn’t the same.
 

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^
You hit it right on the nail!




Maybe this is cultural thing?
I didn't mean that if you happen to own Bundeshwer mesh kit, you can't eat from it, because you didn't earn it.
My point is->
Camo pattern or military gear should be used in actual wilderness adventure.
In the city, you look little ninny. IMO
Well, unless you want to stand out for some reason.

And if it's so cool to wear them, wear them, as long as the rest of the outfit isn’t the same.
That doesn't stand out that much, unless you're going full uniform. But it depends on where in town and which town i guess. Enough people wear it, but if you're in the "business district" you won't fit in indeed. As you say: Just wearing something like camo pants and a normal jacket, or jeans and a camo jacket for example won't make you stand out in most places unless they're more formal places. But then again, while i don't wear camo anymore at the moment, i just wear "outdoor" gear most of the time. I don't care anymore what i look like, i wear what i want to wear, and what's comfortable for me. And no matter what that is, noone has any right to tell me what to wear (at best someone can ask, and unless it's a formal event i'll just not care).
I'd even say most wilderness adventure isn't suited to most camo pattern/military gear, since if i'm hiking or camping, i generally want to be seen, because hunting accidents can easily happen.
 

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I didn't realize the military has the market for backpacks covered, and someone isn't allowed to wear certain gear without being in the military
I'd even say most wilderness adventure isn't suited to most camo pattern/military gear, since if i'm hiking or camping, i generally want to be seen, because hunting accidents can easily happen.
This is definitely a cultural thing, or am I lacking intelligence now?

Because if you can't wear something which is it's whole purpose, I don't know what to think.
I have never asked from someone, why they wear particular clothes?
It's not my business.
Dress like a santa claus, for all I care.
But you shouldn't still be afraid that you get shot by some hunter, because you wore a discuise in a place where it was originally designed.
I can assure you, that there is a way more possibilities to die or injure yourself severely, than a bullet from a hunting gun.
Camouflage is very efective, when blend in the environment and used by someone who knows his (edit. stuff)
I like to hunt, for me they are essential kit while I'm doing it.
But in the city?
They do pretty much exact opposite of what they are meant to.
I'm not saying that they don't work at all in urban theatres, yes they do, but on a civilian, it looks little silly. I don't mean to disrespect here or anything.

I don't care anymore what i look like, i wear what i want to wear, and what's comfortable for me.
Same here.

I have 2 ACU pants, I wear them sometimes at home when I'm working. Occasionally,
(in winter) they work pretty good in a Finnish forest when I'm hunting.
I like those pants, they are 5 years old and still in "good" shape.
But, I have that much mental capasity that I do not wear those in public.
ACU isn't to begin whit even a camouflake, it's a uniform type. Soldiers wear uniform.

You can wear military gear if you want in the city, but I do not wear those in public.
I saw few months ago this young lad walking in the street and he looked like he was coming back from a war of gulaf. I had this initial reaction:"Are you trying to be someone you're not, or trying to be something you're not"?
It's your choice and this is mine.
Rucksacks, Shall we?
 

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I always thought camo gear (shirts) were kind of neat. I don't own any, but a close facsimile are Hawaiin surf shirts and shorts. A camo shirt and a new pair of jeans is in my future.
 

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This is definitely a cultural thing, or am I lacking intelligence now?

Because if you can't wear something which is it's whole purpose, I don't know what to think.
I have never asked from someone, why they wear particular clothes?
It's not my business.
Dress like a santa claus, for all I care.
But you shouldn't still be afraid that you get shot by some hunter, because you wore a discuise in a place where it was originally designed.
I can assure you, that there is a way more possibilities to die or injure yourself severely, than a bullet from a hunting gun.
Camouflage is very efective, when blend in the environment and used by someone who knows his (edit. stuff)
I like to hunt, for me they are essential kit while I'm doing it.
But in the city?
They do pretty much exact opposite of what they are meant to.
I'm not saying that they don't work at all in urban theatres, yes they do, but on a civilian, it looks little silly. I don't mean to disrespect here or anything.


Same here.

I have 2 ACU pants, I wear them sometimes at home when I'm working. Occasionally,
(in winter) they work pretty good in a Finnish forest when I'm hunting.
I like those pants, they are 5 years old and still in "good" shape.
But, I have that much mental capasity that I do not wear those in public.
ACU isn't to begin whit even a camouflake, it's a uniform type. Soldiers wear uniform.

You can wear military gear if you want in the city, but I do not wear those in public.
I saw few months ago this young lad walking in the street and he looked like he was coming back from a war of gulaf. I had this initial reaction:"Are you trying to be someone you're not, or trying to be something you're not"?
It's your choice and this is mine.
Rucksacks, Shall we?
Dunno, don't think either camo clothing nor "military" backpacks shouldn't be used. Plenty of people who use the type in the city. And for some it's not about blending in in a war, but just a pattern type or style they like. Only reason i wore pants with camo when growing up was because i liked cargopants and they were good pants :p. If i go shopping for a bit more stuff, i take my Sabre45 since it's a good pack. The purpose is the quality of the gear and clothing and personal taste. :)
Hell, the Sabre45 is basically the same as the Bergen, but i think (not sure) the zippers on the Bergen are inversed vs standard PLCE orientation for the Sabre.
 

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This could be cultural thing, but I think this time it aren't as even in Finland hunting accidents do happens, and other hobbyist dodge out in certain areas when hunting season start. this is true specially near cities where woods draw all kind of people venturing outside. I could imagine how this is more problem in countries with less woods and more people, but same things happens even here.
I remember case where person with orange camo vest was shot as "forest chicken" so being seen or being invisible is kind of two edged sword. You can get shot either way.
 

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If i go shopping for a bit more stuff, i take my Sabre45 since it's a good pack.
Yes, it is.
They say it's the best bushcraft backpack.
I don't know about that, but I like those additional side pouches. I always carry them with me, if I need some extra room, providing around 25Liter of extra space.
But, most of the time I prefer to go "slim" when carrying a backpack.
For me, molle webbing and things like that are useless. I want everything inside my back pack. Tight and strapped.
I understand the logic behind molle and it's usefulness particularly on a hip belt.
But I personally never will use it for anything more than clipping a carabiner to.

My Karrimor was bought used and is in perfect working condition with no rips or stains.
I really like the harness system, (I can fit my cooking steel wire mesh in there)
it fits on my back quite good actually,
hip belt is on right place for me. Not as good fit as my hunting bag, but better than many other packs.
I don't know how well this backpack hold up against water, but at some point it will get trough, although it's made from 1000 denier nylon fabric.

Like everything, gloves, shoes, if you can, try it out before you buy it. For some people, straps are in wrong place and then it is not comfortable at all.

This is one of those bags that can be dragged through the thicket, no worries.


even in Finland hunting accidents do happens, and other hobbyist dodge out in certain areas when hunting season start.
Approximately 300,000 persons obtain a license to hunt in Finland. We have 1.6 million registered weapons and 650,000 people with firearm permits, according to the Finnish government. This includes of course permits to target practise too.

There were a total of four serious incidents related to hunting last year, including two deaths. This includes one case that was "mistakenly thought" that a firearm was empty indoors, killing one person.

There were a total of eight cases of
life-threatening anaphylactic shock, caused by peanuts. So I would't stress being outdoors too much when the hunting season starts.
Edit: Especially Finnish people should be more concerned of alcohol-related harms, than getting shot in the woods.
 

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Matti, I just pointed out that people, specially near the largest cities in south dodge out when hunting season start and these same things and fears can be found in our own country too. I am not worried or need to be dodging out, but many people in different areas feels urge for it. and for that, statistics has nothing to do with it.
 
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